Roland Neave

Clearwater Valley Guiding Principles Ignored
After a three-year process beginning in 1996, an agreement, “The Guiding Principles for the Management of Land and Resources in the Upper Clearwater Valley” was reached between the BC Ministry of Forests and residents of Upper Clearwater. The residents agreed to three woodlots in exchange for restrictions on Crown land logging to small discreet incursions for removal of insect- or beetle-killed trees. Yet, in 2015, the government ignored this agreement and issued a permit to Canfor to undertake massive logging on the western slopes of the Clearwater River Valley without consultation with local residents.

Mountain Caribou Habitat and Population
Would be at Risk

Since 1995 the numbers of Southern Mountain Caribou in the Clearwater River Valley have shrunk from about 325 to only 135 animals. In 2014, the federal Species at Risk Act identified the Clearwater Valley in the vicinity of southern Wells Gray Park as Critical Habitat for Caribou. Logging on the slopes of Trophy Mountain would contribute to the already precipitous decline of these uniquely Canadian animals by opening the forest cover to browsers like moose and deer and predators such as wolves and cougars. Click here for a map of the federally protected Critical Habitat for Caribou in the Clearwater River Valley and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Allan Fedorak

UNESCO Geopark Application will be Impacted
Wells Gray Provincial Park has been nominated for Canada’s tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Status, and the corridor into the Park is under consideration for a UNESCO Geopark application. Such an area must have unique attributes (such as the area's volcanoes and waterfalls) and would be set aside to promote sustainable tourism, economic development, and education and research. Logging in the Clearwater Valley below the Trophy Mountain section of Wells Gray Park and near Buck Hill, a volcanic feature, would impact the Geopark application which is of great value for protecting the park’s features and for enhancing tourism in the Clearwater Valley.

Threats to Slope Stability
Should logging occur on the slopes of Trophy Mountain, our Society is concerned about future washouts of culverts and bridges in this watershed. This has happened before as a result of the 1980s massive clear-cut above First Canyon Creek:
• 1997 – First Canyon washout requiring a new bridge costing $1.4 million
• 1999 – Spahats Creek culvert washout requiring a new bridge costing $1 million
• 2001 – Grouse Creek washout requiring bridge replacement
• 2015 – Second Canyon culvert repair

Threats to Household and Irrigation Water
There are 23 mapped creeks in the proposed logging area with 43 water licences. New logging could affect groundwater and surface water runoff. With the forest cover removed, there would be increased risk of rapid snowmelt and runoff, resulting in spring flooding and depleted or dry creeks and wells in the fall. In July 2020, massive runoff at Grouse Creek caused much damage to nearby residences, necessitating disaster relief funding from the BC government. The same event impacted Fage Creek and quick action was taken by Highways to save the Clearwater Valley Road from washout.

Impacts on Tourism Industry
Tourism is important to the local economy. $20 million are brought into Clearwater annually by tourists. The long-term economic future of this valley is at risk if industrial logging destroys Wells Gray Park assets. We need to protect the wilderness experience for everyone, and carefully manage the corridor to Wells Gray Park.

Don Halliday - Spahats Creek washout 1999
Concerns in the Wells Gray Park Corridor